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Shootout goal sends Delaware Military field hockey past Saint Mark’s in DIAA tournament opener

Saint Mark's goalkeeper Abigail McIlvain hits the ground to smother an attempt by Delaware Military Academy. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

MILLTOWN — Delaware Military Academy and Saint Mark’s battled through 90 minutes of field hockey in the first round of the DIAA Division II tournament opening round on Dec. 1, but it took even more to decide a winner. Larissa Maglio and Madison McCullagh scored in a one-on-one shootout, and that was enough to lift the 10th-seeded Seahawks past No. 7 Saint Mark’s, 0-0 (2-1 in shootout).

Maglio was DMA’s second shooter of five after both the Seahawks and Spartans failed to connect in round one. She deked around Spartans goalkeeper McIlvain and knocked the ball into the cage, but the joy was short-lived. Saint Mark’s Ellie Cummings was next up, and she was able to beat the Delaware Military keeper, Adriana Palladinetti.

Rounds three and four belonged to the keepers, leaving it up to the final shooters. McCullagh approached and went to her left, sending a backhanded shot just outside the reach of McIlvain and into the cage. Palladinetti clinched the victory when, after making an initial stop on Riley Fleetwood, she stepped toward the ball and booted it out of the scoring circle.

That brought to an end a game that for much of the day was controlled by the Seahawks, although they were unable to solve the Spartans’ defense through 60 minutes of regulation and another 30 of overtime. The best opportunity of the first quarter belonged to DMA, which had a four-on-zero, but an errant pass nixed that.

Saint Mark’s sent a shot off the post in the middle of the second quarter, shortly before losing a player to a yellow card for five minutes and being forced to play shorthanded.

The lack of goals continued into the second half, but the Seahawks had chances. They earned four penalty corners but were unable to generate a shot on any, although they forced McIlvain to come up with a kick save late in the third. Both teams had shots deflected wide in the fourth, but both McIlvain and Palladinetti kept zeroes on the scoreboard.

The first overtime was all Delaware Military, as they had nine corners in the 15-minute period. Two of those came with no time left on the clock, but the Spartans foiled those to force a second extra session.

McIlvain was called on to make another save in the opening seconds of the second OT, but the Spartans then found some offense. Lindsay Sawyer sent two shots at Palladinetti, but the keeper rejected both. That 15 minutes would end with the score identical to what it had been when the game began, setting up the one-on-one dramatics.

The Seahawks finished with a 21-18 shot advantage, and they had 22 corners to the Spartans’ four. Palladinetti had 17 saves. DMA improved to 6-5-2 and will play at No. 2 Caravel on Saturday at 2 p.m.

McIlvain had 19 saves for Saint Mark’s, which ended the season 5-4.

All photos by Mike Lang.